Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Switzerland! While Halloween isn’t actually celebrated here, it’s not stopping me from trying to be a little spooky. That includes watching creepy shows, making some yummy treats and shelling out way too many francs on a pumpkin (Twenty. Twenty francs for a pumpkin.)

Now, I’m not a big fan of scary movies, but lately I’ve been watching Netflix’s answer to vampires and werewolves, Hemlock Grove. I find it beyond disturbing, yet can’t seem to stop. Has anyone else been watching this show, or is it just me? This is definitely stuff you can’t show on network television, holy crap. When it gets too scary I turn to my favourite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus.

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Swiss Travel: Murten


One of the benefits of having globetrotting guests staying with us is I get to do some more traveling too! I generally wouldn’t think: hey, X, let’s hop in the car and drive for several hours to explore a new town, just the two of us. Not usually, anyway. X can be very closed minded about things like that. But with my sister and brother-in-law visiting, it seemed like the right thing to do.

After their jaunt to Italy, they wanted to explore some of Switzerland. And as luck would have it, there is very little of Switzerland that I’ve actually seen yet. If it’s not around Lake Geneva, then it’s new to me. Continue reading

Book reviews

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the events that unfurled in Ottawa last week. Our hearts are broken for the family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo. From what I’ve seen, most of the people of our country are dealing with this tragedy with dignity and respect, and it makes me proud to be Canadian. This was hopefully the act of a very disturbed individual, and I hope that this doesn’t change the character of openness and welcome we enjoy in our home country.

Speaking of Canada, X has developed an adorable/sort of unsettling Canadianism – he apologizes to everything. I hear him muttering Sorry under his breath as he walks along (well, it sounds more like Showwy, but you know). I was just wondering where he actually learnt that, when I apologized out loud to a plant. So there you go.

I’ve been back to my books, and have a bunch to review – some pretty good, some terrible. Nothing that’s going to take your breath away here, but there are some worth reading. Some that are not worth any of your money or time, they are so bad, so consider yourself warned. Continue reading

Autumn in Geneva and potato gnocchi in brown butter and sage sauce

A hilarious thing happened when I went to the hardware store the other day … I discovered that Christmas had thrown up all over the place. We’re talking mid-October, and Santa’s workshop is already fully set up. I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I used to cover and write about Christmas decorations for a living.* The entire back warehouse of the store (which is usually their outdoor area and greenhouse) is completely decorated top to bottom with candy canes, elves and the like. There was even a full room dedicated to an LED light show. No actual Santas, though, and I’m not yet sure where Switzerland stands on Santa yet. One thing I have discovered is that Christmas is a HUGE deal in Europe. I guess there’s no Halloween to break up the holidays – they go straight from summer to Christmas and, I suspect, back again. I’m excited to see how out of control things get.

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Beauty update

Imagine me saying “beauty” super sarcastically, because I have found that during pregnancy, the idea of beauty goes out the window. Or is at least vastly compromised. Some women have that lovely pregnancy glow? Mine is more like a pregnancy ooze. Around now, I start to get compliments when I’ve recently showered. It’s condescending but I’ll take it.

However. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how my more natural beauty regime is going, so I thought I’d give you an update as to how natural I’ve remained. It’s been about four months, so I figure the things that have stuck are probably going to stay.

Firstly, the Oil Cleansing Method. This is where you “wash” your face in oil – see here for more details. Sounds gross? Is amazing. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday, and I was a little sad that I was going to miss out on it this year. Imagine my incredible delight, then, when I realized that not only would I have guests over Thanksgiving weekend, but some of my favourite people in the world – my sister, two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law! What luck. And we have many many things to be thankful for. One healthy baby and another one on the way, family who loves us so much they travel across the world to see us and more family who we couldn’t be with but were in our thoughts and hearts.

My family got to go and explore the Bains de Paquis – basically a mecca of nakedness in downtown Geneva. I was assured that no one I knew went nude while taking a dip in Lake Geneva, but everyone enjoyed the Turkish baths. I can’t wait until I can try the saunas, one of these days.
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Announcement and an epic amount of book reviews

What do you mean, I’m going to be a big brother?

This is the face of a kid who has no idea what’s coming. And what’s coming is … his little brother or sister! The reason why I’ve been completely off of eating food, or of doing anything other than lying around and feeling nauseous, for that matter, is I’ve been getting through my first trimester with my next baby. A very exciting time for our little family, and while I try not to talk too much about my kid(s) here, it’s funny how being pregnant ends up being an all consuming kind of thing that influences everything that I do. So I thought I’d make my little announcement; that’s our next bit of exciting news in what has been a rather exciting year for us.

Back to my regularly scheduled blog, I have spent the last few weeks touring around Canada, but mostly reading. It was glorious, guys. There is something so decadent about devouring book after book, not feeling guilty about discarding one and moving on to another in the next minute. I read A LOT, so this is an exceptionally long blog. I decided to put them down from my favourite to least favourite, because when you get bored halfway through, at least you’ll have seen the really good books that you should be reading.

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